Sleeping space probe has been reactivated

  • 21 January 2014
Sleeping space probe to wake up

A sleeping space probe called Rosetta was successfully reactivated on Monday and phoned home to let engineers know it was safe!

Rosetta was launched in 2004 as part of a daring mission to land on a comet.

Image caption Rosetta sent a signal from space

It was put into hibernation in 2011 to save power. It was so far away from the Sun that its solar panels could not have kept it running.

The probe woke up at 10am on Monday and sent a signal to confirm all its systems are working.

Scientists celebrated when Rosetta phoned home

Rosetta is due to drop a lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 11 November.

Comets are believed to contain materials that have remained largely unchanged since the formation of the Solar System 4.6billion years ago.

Image caption Rosetta will drop a lander onto the comet

Jean-Jacques Dordain from the European Space Agency said: "Rosetta is a unique mission... comets may be at the origin of who we are."